I know that one needs enough pixels in the texture to displace properly. On the other hand these textures should not get too large as one needs to store them
in memory. That would prolong export-time heftlily and uses a lot of memory.One might deal with that by giving important areas more UV-Space, by using UV-Tiles
or by using separate UV-sets. It's still very helpful to add some initial quad- subdivision to avoid the renderer having to do the serious heavy-lifting.
To get these optional extra-subdvivision it currently is the most attractive option to display a low polygon-representation in the viewport and to use Hypernurbs, Turbosmooth
and comparable parametric Subdivision-Modifiers. Given they are available in the Host-Software.
These are nice pictures.
But one has to face the fact that one could not get the same result on certain geometry with Maxwell-Studio, Rhino, Solidworks, Archicad, Bonzai, FormZ, Microstation
and Sketchup. If the SolidThinking Plugin is still in development also here. One might be able to replicate that tire with a dense cylinder-primitive with one extracted end-cap,
maybe. Also these entwining ropes should work with some dense, deformed cylinders.
But one already ran into problems with all mentioned packages,given one just got that female trunk section with 200 polygons by someone else, along with the maps.
In case a CAD-user had purchased a cool low poly but subdivision-optimized model at Turbosquid or similar, she'd be screwed although it comes with all required maps.
There's a classic and already very old 2D-displacement-example here
As (non pretess) displacement first was introduced in Maxwell quite some years ago and with close to no respective experience I tried for hours and hours to replicate that head with
Maxwell from Rhino. I know today that I was just doomed to fail by working with that low-res cage. The source-files have become unavailable - maybe one of the readers still has them
and can upload them for you to try.
One can say that is not your cup of tea and that one rather should change to a "proper" host-program.
Or do something.
I have said more than I ever I wanted to say on this topic. This is a new week and I'm out for now.
PS: I find somehow odd that you are obviously happily willing to swindle small detail without actual deformation. Yes, I realize that there's no reasonable way around
nowadays. Still it's remarkable that NL seems unwilling to compromise on all light and Material-Simulation-issues but agrees with geometry-detail-limits defined
by the entertainment-industry. I'd rather like to throw my model with all the actual detail into my virtual photostudio. Currently such would grind
software to stillstand but hopefully that won't stay so forever.